There is no faster growing industry than that of health and fitness. Every time we turn on the television or see a magazine cover, there is bound to be a story about weight loss or healthy eating, the best new exercise or the ideal weight and size of the day. One of these trends is a low-carb, high fat and protein diet. The basic premise is to eat a diet with almost no grains or sugar. To this end, dieters are on a mission to find substitutes for bread and all of their other favorite starches. Who would have thought that cauliflower would come to their rescue?
Bread and baking
Whether you are missing your biscuits and gravy or everyone’s favorite pizza, cauliflower can be mixed with egg, another low-carb ingredient, to create a dough consistency that can be manipulated to fit your palette and needs. Whether you want to drop little piles of dough on your pan or roll out one giant crust, a little experimenting will find you a perfect recipe that even the non-dieting family members will enjoy. The fastest route is to chop an entire head of cauliflower, minus the core, into a food processor until the bits are the consistency of rice or smaller. Starting with one egg, blend in your mixer until you feel it resembles dough. Bake in your oven at 300, starting for about ten minutes, but watching as you go. The edges will start to brown and when everything is dry and stiff enough to lift with a spatula, you’ve created bread from cauliflower. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt burns or is too moist or some other disaster. You will find as you adjust moisture, cooking time and temp that you will master a perfect combination.
What about the taste
Like many vegetables, cauliflower has a lot of water in it, which cooks out in an oven, unlike boiling or steaming. Also, you are usually adding something like sauce and cheese, mayonnaise and meat or butter and jelly, which will basically overpower any remaining hint of cauliflower taste in your dish. Just like your experimental cooking, you will have to see for yourself which spices and additions yield the result that you and your other eaters enjoy the most. If you already enjoy the taste of cauliflower, this will be easier to achieve.
Missing mashed potatoes
There’s no more popular starch than the potato. Whether your weakness is French fries or mashed potatoes, a low-carb diet means waving goodbye to all of them. Thankfully, your cravings for mashed potatoes can also be satisfied with cauliflower. After blending and chopping until the consistency is like pudding, squeeze out excess water and add a small amount of heavy whipping cream and all the butter and garlic you like. Of course, you can add cheese and bacon, sour cream or chives. By some miracle, most of our favorite potato condiments are already carb-free. You can even slice cauliflower into inch-thick patties and grill like a steak. If you use steak seasoning, you will be amazed.
Don’t knock it until you try it. If you are one of those who wrinkle your nose at the mention of cauliflower, just imagine if you could introduce your old favorites into your new lifestyle. When your teenagers obliterate your first cauliflower pizza, you’ll be glad you took a chance.